The Tattered Thread

      B. A. Braxton
The Tattered Thread

When all hope is gone and there’s nothing left to live for, suicide may be your only option. Tasia McAvoy knows this feeling all too well. Rich and beautiful, Tasia seems to have everything a person could ever want. But her deepest, darkest secrets are catching up with her, and she’s just too tired to run away from them anymore.Carlyle Kastenmeier is a successful businessman who routinely amuses himself by controlling the lives of his wife, his son, his brother, his mistress, and his many employees. He also has a nasty habit of belittling others, delighting in making them feel incompetent and insignificant. And he emphasizes this point by tying a piece of red thread around their fingers to humiliate them, and only he is allowed to take it off.Lois, Carl’s wife, stays with him because he gives her everything she wants except his love. Carl’s employees stay with him because he pays them three times what their services are worth. Everyone justifies tolerating his abuse by telling themselves that the pay is good.Witness the story’s events through the eyes of Elaine Kostas, a maid recently hired by the Kastenmeiers. She observes as Detective Rein Connery tries to figure out who beat Carl with his own walking stick, cut him with a straight razor, and then left him to bleed out on the bathroom floor.It seems as if everyone is a suspect. Tasia McAvoy, Carl’s mistress, tried to leave him just months before his murder, but he forced her to come back. Carl’s bitter wife had to sign a prenuptial agreement relinquishing any right to his estate before he would marry her. Silas, their son, is a seven-year-old genius who certainly has the wherewithal, the intelligence, and the motives to kill his father. Vic Kastenmeier, Carl’s brilliant, alcoholic brother, had discovered a formula for an ideal oil paint varnish twenty years ago, but Carl took it away from him and built his fortune on the varnish’s manufacture and sale. Meanwhile, Vic is a pauper who depends on his brother’s assistance to live.Nicolette Howard oversees the sale and distribution of Carl Kastenmeier’s varnish and related products. Of late, Carl has been threatening to take away many of her duties and give them to one of her colleagues, Marlon McGhee. Marlon is in no way as talented or as bright as Nicolette, but Carl loves to tease her by suggesting that Marlon could easily take her place. Marlon, on the other hand, believes that he is being promoted when really it’s just another one of Carl’s practical jokes. Cameron Dmytryk, Carl’s chauffeur, hates his boss for many reasons, but most especially because of his condescending attitude. Zachary Cutteridge is the Kastenmeier’s painter and landscaper who is fired after Carl discovers that Zach is having an affair with Tasia.So, who killed Carlyle Kastenmeier? Read on as Detective Rein Connery sorts through the anger and animosity to get at the truth.

Read online

    Pigeon Blood

      B. A. Braxton
Pigeon Blood

Dr. Blair Vaughn’s alcoholic binges have gone too far this time. His indiscretions have landed him in the middle of a blood-soaked double homicide, and he can’t remember how he got there, what part he had in the murders, or why the murders occurred in the first place. And as he stumbles along trying to make sense of it all, the body count continues to rise.Blair Vaughn is a homeless dentist who witnesses the murder of a friend, Dr. Cynthia Maxwell, during an alcoholic blackout. The details of that night are sketchy for him, and he can only remember the events which had transpired in random bits. It seems that everywhere he goes, the body count rises, so it becomes imperative that he piece together the facts quickly before he ends up dead, too.Eventually Blair recognizes the man who killed Cynthia. His name is Quentin Latrice, a gem cutter, who not only has a passion for derby hats, but also for priceless gems and bloodshed. What terrifies Blair even more than remembering what Latrice had done, is discovering that this lapidary is a good friend of Detective Mikel Smith, the man in charge of Cynthia’s murder investigation.Through a series of flashbacks, Blair taxes his brain to remember vital details about Cynthia’s murder. Blair’s only hope of staying alive is to recall everything and then try and figure out who is behind it all. A vital clue is a note that he stumbles on which reads, “Lab Case #21: Pigeon Blood.” Lab cases are how dental offices label the bins of patients who require laboratory work to complete their treatments. So there must be something in bin number twenty-one at the dental office where Cynthia had been working. And being a rock and mineral enthusiast, Blair knows that the term ‘pigeon blood’ describes the color of the most valuable rubies in the world.Join Blair as he dodges killers, thugs, and police officers through the rough and unforgiving streets of Detroit, all while toting millions of dollars worth of gemstones in his frayed and fuzz-lined pockets. God and Detective Rein Connery, the one police officer in the city who can be trusted, are the only individuals who can help him now.

Read online